The Italian budget law is going to adopt a compulsory register of gambling operators and suppliers, the payment blocking of transactions towards unlicensed operators and other measures on betting, bingo and land-based slot machines. As every year, the Italian government approves by the end of the year quite a large law covering a broad range of topics including gambling. The draft budget law of this year introduces considerable changes that can be summarized as follows:
Italian betting shop and bingo licenses extended again
As already happened during the previous years, the licenses for betting shops will be extended against the payment of a fixed fee. The reason for such delay is that the new rules have not obtained yet the favorable opinion of the Italian Supreme Accounting Court and as a consequence, there is no time to run a new tender for licenses by the end of the year.
Holders of betting shop licenses shall pay € 6,000 per betting shop license and € 3,500 per corner shop license.
And the same will occur in relation to bingo hall licenses which will be subject to the payment of € 90,000 per license.
Launch of Remotely operated Comma 6 A machines delayed
To limit the risk of unlawful conduct, the Italian Government started a process of replacement of the current Comma 6 A machines (also known as AWPs or NewSlots) with remotely operated machines.
The process already led to a reduction in the number of machines. But it is still necessary to adopt the new technical requirements for the manufacturing of AWPR. Therefore, their launch has been postponed to 9 months after the adoption of the decree setting such technical standards.
Anti-money laundering record of gambling operators and suppliers
Italy already has a record of gambling operators and suppliers in relation to the land-based sector. But the draft Italian budget law plans to extend the record to online gambling operators and suppliers to reduce the risk of money laundering.
No license is necessary for suppliers in order to be enrolled and the enrolment is only subject to the payment of a € 200 fee and the performance of KYC checks. This is the first time though that online gambling suppliers need to register with the Italian gambling authority, ADM.
Also, operators will not be in the position to enter into agreements relating to the offering of games with entities that are not enrolled in the registry.
Payment blocking against unlicensed gambling operators
As already occurred some years ago, Italy is trying to introduce measures to block transactions towards unlicensed operators. The draft budget law provides an obligation for financial institutions and credit card providers to block such payments with fines up to € 1,000,000 and € 300,000 per unlawful transaction.
The authority in charge of enforcing measures will be the Italian gambling authority that will also have to issue a decree setting out the operational rules. In absence of such decree, the provision will not become applicable.
The Italian budget law is still a draft and I cannot exclude that changes will be introduced in the coming weeks, up to the end of the year.